Advertising and Selling mix depends on Channels
It is axiomatic that as channels lengthen, the need for advertising to the end user increases and personal selling effort declines. Thus, long channels and heavier advertising effort are inseparable. Or, it may be said that since product sales effort (or quality of communication) decreases as the channel lengthens, the firm’s need for direct communication with the end user increases accordingly, for the personal sales effort is diluted by local and personal economic interests and distractions.
Decisions regarding channels, sales talents required, and advertising effort are dependent on the requirements and demands of the purchaser for technical information, display and merchandising aid, and the amount of money involved in the typical transaction. The results are these, simply stated: highly complex and big ticket items are sold (and serviced) directly by a sales engineer while standard low priced goods purchased in small quantities go through longer channels and are “sold” by a good-will builder, an order-taker. The selling is actually “preselling” which is done by advertising.
Planning the Persuasion System-The Sales Promotion Mix
The sales promotion mix should be based on the following considerations:
Be realistic in terms of purposes to be achieved.
Respect the effectiveness of advertising, selling, and display separately and in coordination.
Respect all parties of interest, including middlemen and salesmen.
Involve all marketing management personnel, permitting early participation.
Permit a general plan which can be tentatively approved before final details and cost are determined.
Permit individual and group judgment to be employed in conjunction with quantitative techniques.
The following steps are needed to create a sales promotional distribution effort. This pattern can be based as much on judgment as experience will permit and can utilize modern models and systems methods as desired.
1. Analyze and determine customer attitudes, company and product “image.” Consider company age, stage of product life cycle, channels of distribution.
2. Review customer buying motives, desires of middlemen, salesmen, all parties involved, as customer-users or participants.
3. Establish resulting objectives, purposes of “persuasion system,” and parties to be influenced, including middlemen.
4. Summarize attitudes to be developed or created by the program or system (with no indication at this point as to which promotional medium is expected to achieve each purpose).
5. Rate the product as to its technical complexity and amount of typical sale; determine approximate balance of advertising, selling, and display required.
6. Outline the purposes of advertising (and possibly display) in terms of objectives to be achieved by each medium for each participant or group.
7. Outline the purposes of personal selling in terms of objectives to be achieved by each salesman (or type of salesman).
8. Draw up general recommendations, including probable effectiveness of advertising, selling, display.
9. Develop reasonably reliable estimates of costs of advertising, by types, media, time period, purpose.
10. Same, personal selling. Define the salesman’s job.
11. Same, display.
12. Review marketing department organization, in terms of its appropriateness for general plan.
13. Review general program with participants and with parties influencing budget.
14. Draw up program in detail, present it for final general approval.
During the training period, it would be an excellent idea to see that all salesmen are grounded in the details and objectives of the marketing plan. Additionally, the role of the salesman in making the plan work should be emphasized.